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Friday 22 June 2018

Subsidy to be given for fodder transported over 100km to north west

Farmers stocking up on fodder at the Drumshanbo Horse Fair, Co Leitrim. Photo Brian Farrell
Farmers stocking up on fodder at the Drumshanbo Horse Fair, Co Leitrim. Photo Brian Farrell
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

The Minister for Agriculture has announced details of the transport subsidy for fodder being hauled to the north west.

Minister Michael Creed said the transport subsidy would apply to fodder hauled over 100km to the stricken north west.

He said he did not want to interfere in the active local fodder market in the north west, but said that studies been carried out by Teagasc showed that there were "specific localised pockets" where there are fodder shortages.

He said the subsidy will range from €8 to €12 depending on the type of fodder. In order to be eligible for support under this measure a farmer must demonstrate a significant shortfall of fodder on the holding, as verified by a recognised Agricultural Advisor and only the shortfall in fodder will be eligible to receive support under the transport measure.

Full details on the operation of the measure, including application forms and Department contact details will be issued by the Department shortly.

In recent days a number of farming organisations have worked to transport bales from around the country to areas affected by fodder shortages.

At the IFA AGM in Bluebell, in response to a direct question from the IFA Connacht Regional Chairman Padraic Joyce at the IFA Annual General Meeting in Dublin today, the Minister said he will introduce a subsidy for the transport of fodder to farmers in need.

With parts of the country under water, Met Eireann forecaster Pat Clarke said rainfall in general over the past week has hit three times the normal level in the worst impacted areas. Hardest hit were north Munster, parts of the midlands and east Connacht suffered the worst.

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Rainfall levels recorded at Gurteen were 316pc ahead of the normal readings for the time of year, with 68mm over the past week.

Mr Clarke said the forecast for the immediate future is changeable and unsettled, with the western half of the country due to experience the heaviest of the rain, particularly along the Atlantic seaboard.

He said the majority of soils were saturated and it was likely to worsen.

The wet weather is adding to the fodder pressures being experienced by farmers in the west and north-west and Veterinary Surgeon John Quinn urged farmers at a recent IFA fodder crisis meeting in Leitrim to “talk to somebody about a problem.

“There is loads of help out there and you shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed that you haven’t enough fodder. I haven’t enough this year I am not ashamed to tell you.

"Talk to somebody about it. There are lots of  ways of getting around it,” he stated. Mr Quinn reminded farmers that “there is a crisis out there and don’t be afraid to talk about it."


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